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Posted on 20. Jan, 2003 by admin in Damien News, Interviews.


Kate Fitzpatrick interviews Damien Rice

The album ‘O’ gently crept onto our record shelves back at the beginning of 2002, receiving rave reviews – this beautifully fragile and intensely personal tour-de-force was the debut from little known Irish singersongwriter and one time busker Damien Rice.

Damien who spent much of his childhood in Celbridge, County Kildare, seems unphased by all the recent attention focused on him; with eight Hot Press Readers Poll nominations, 3 nominations for this year’s Meteor Irish Music Awards as well as playing to sell-out crowds both here and over the water in Los Angeles, it would appear Mr. Rice is very much in demand.

Even Britney’s a fan…

I managed to grab a couple of words with the man himself before a much earned Christmas break. ‘O’ was to years in the making, does this mean you’re somewhat of a perfectionist!

Maybe. I spent the first couple of months putting down a load of songs like i had learned how to do in studios before, putting a click down first and then layering. But I ended up throwing all those recordings out. Then i took some months off and got a bit depressed about not being able to record. Then one day it hit me how to do it and then I obeyed that method until the record was finished. My method was waiting for the right time to record.

For anyone who hasn’t heard you or the record how would you describe your ’sound’

I don’t really know. I don’t like doing it. It changes quite a bit. The sound on ‘o’ is one side of what we’re doing. It’s the mellow beautiful stuff. The next record is ugly and abrasive. But they can just listen to the record if they want! Your record is very much a ’story-telling’ album for want of a better expression, so who or what in particular influenced it

People. What they did to me .with me and what i did to and with them, and situations. Some very interesting situations,I may write a story about them.

As people have been prolific in your song writing have you been supported well by your fellow countrymen

Yes. People are amazing. You just need enough people open to something and others join in. We’re all attracted to beauty or love. and the frames in particular have been giving a lot to other artists recently and i feel that has started a vibe where everyone wants to share and help Others out. I know I do.

Have you always had this support from friends and family and how did you first get involved with music

I started playing drums when I was 8. I was crap, couldn’t get the foot hand thing going. My sister Sinead had a friend in a band. I always sang, but i wanted to be in a band and so I borrowed my dad’s guitar and learned how to play a couple of chords and took it from there.

Were you initially surprised by the reaction and high critical acclaim the album got

Yes. I still am. I thought I was being truly selfish making the record. I only thought about what I and the band liked and wanted. I thought to myself this might be the only record you make, so make something you absolutely fucking love so I did and it’s lovely that others seem to like it. I’m still surprised.

The album is full of collaborated vocals between you and singer Lisa Hannigan, how did you end up working together and why did you chose to share vocal duties

We met by accident. Then again by accident. Got talking. found out we both sang, played, wrote. I had a number of songs I was looking for a female singer on.. So I just invited her and she was amazing.

Finally where do you see or where would you like to see yourself in a years time

I don’t go there. I’m here now and that’s where I’m staying. Talk to me in a year.

And that I may, if he has a window in his diary as with the recent deluge of nominations, awards and gigs looks like 2003 and three could be O so great for Ireland’s Damien Rice.

Damien plays the Academy 3 on Feb 21st –

K.Fitzpatrick 2003

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